I could tell you stories, but they'd be just that-- stories.
At one of the first places I taught, they taught a straight NRA curriculum. At the next place I taught, they taught a straight Cooper-Gunsite curriculum. To compare two classes, take the Intro classes. (Or whatever title you like. Different ranges used different titles, at least throughout Puget Sound.) The first class someone who has never fired a gun before takes.
In the NRA curriculum, that class is sixteen hours long. Sixteen. Two full days. It includes segments on positions that I've only seen used at that range, in that class, (sitting) and segments that are pure politics-- one in particular, "Why People Own Guns".
In contrast, the next range I taught at taught an entry class that was four hours long, and that included shooting. Different safety rules, which confuses a lot of people. There is no standard.
To quote one of my old instructors, "Sit 'em down. Tell 'em your name. Tell 'em the safety rules. Tell 'em about grip, stance, sight picture, trigger squeeze and follow through. Demonstrate the weapon. After that, why are you still talking? Get 'em on the line, get the weapons in their hands, watch 'em like a hawk, get the rounds downrange, get 'em out the door and let's go to dinner."
There is always an agenda. At an NRA range, that agenda is political indoctrination and NRA recruiting-- some of the classes are like a ponzi scheme without the return for first tier investors. At the second range I mentioned, the agenda was money. At other ranges I've taught at, the entry class included a tour of the gunshop, or a segment about "Gunshop Etiquette" in their gunshop-- those ranges were about getting people to come back, enter the shooting sports and spend money where they first felt comfortable.
Don't get me wrong, I'm an instructor. At one time, I made all my money teaching Intro, Basic and Defensive Handgun. Classes are usually good, and the OP here should absolutely, positively take a class. Skipping the class when you buy a firearm is like buying a car and then heading up an on ramp onto the interstate. If we're lucky, the only people you hurt will be you. If we're not lucky, there's no telling how much damage you could do.
The NRA classes soured me permanently on the NRA as a whole.